3 Steps to a Career Spring Cleaning

Last Updated Mar 29, 2010 9:11 AM EDT

Here in London the daffodils just started blooming, and while the typically gloomy British weather means I can't exactly say spring is in the air, it's at least beginning to creep slowly back into my consciousness. Of course, the return of the sun inspires many to loll about in those bloom filled parks, but it also fires many people up for an annual overhaul -- a floor to ceiling sweep to get rip of a winter's worth of trash and brighten up your life for the summer to come. Gen Y expert and author Lindsey Pollak suggests that spring cleaning isn't just for your home -- it's also a good idea for your career too.
Leave the rubber gloves and scrub brush at home; Pollak's three-step plan to clear out the clutter from your career just requires a little bit of will and a sturdy filing cabinet:
  • Clean your career (literally). When was the last time your organized all of your career documents, both on paper and on your computer? Take time now to toss or delete outdated versions of your resume, file past cover letters, put company information you've gathered into marked folders and organize that rubber-banded stack of business cards you've collected over the past several months.
  • Clean up your online image. According to a recently released Microsoft survey, 85 percent of HR professionals responding said that positive online reputation influences their hiring decisions, and 70 percent said they have rejected candidates based on information they found online. Make no mistake about it: your online image will affect your job search and your career. If you haven't already, set up strict privacy settings on all social networks... take down any inappropriate pictures or content, set up a 100 percent professional profile on LinkedIn and Google, and think twice before posting any new content on Facebook, Twitter or a blog.
  • Clean out your to-do list. Take time this spring to sit down and analyze your time commitments. What's really enjoyable to you? What work is most fulfilling? What activities do you dread attending? I challenge you to delete anything from your calendar that is not either totally necessary or totally enjoyable.
(Daffodil image by Anvica, CC 2.0)
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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.